CFOG's PIP, June 1987, Volume 5 No. 8, Whole No. 56, page 1

DOGGONE: Requiem for a User Group

[For the benefit of those members who did not take the front page editorial last month as seriously as they should have, the following report was published in the June issue of DOG Bytes, volume 6, number 6. -- bhc]


by Charley Johnson

We finally found a name for our organization. It fits. DOG is gone, doggone it.

By now DOG members have received a letter from John Gaudio speaking for the board of directors with the bad news. The board, after long deliberations, has decided to dissolve the corporation called the Denver Osborne Group. Of course, your appravel of this action will be sought at the regular meeting on July 2, 1987.

There is no reason at all why there cannot continue to be a group of friends who meet each month or share a newsletter. The board has taken great pains to ensure that such a group can remain and reform itself. But it is clear that the current trends, if allowed to drift as they are, will make such a pleasant outcome impossible.

Let me explain myself. We have a considerable amount of money in unspent dues, paid by the membership (about $1300). We have a newsletter with a great history and editor. We have a good meeting place. We have some talented people. We have several libraries of public dornain software. We are associated with FOG. We have a great history.

But good people, for perfectly good reasons, don't come any more. We can't get enough articles for a newsletter. Pleas for help with presentations go unheeded. The membership is down to 89 (600+ have passed through our rolls) and may be below 50 in two months. Few new members are joining and many old members are not renewing. The meeting place is about 20 times larger than we need and too expensive. We have only one advertiser (John Gaudio, and his ad is a kindness to us rather than good business for him) and very few supporting vendors. The libraries distribute fewer than 10 disks a month according to the reports I had at our board meeting.

The real killer is that we no longer have that single, central, unifying idea that we had in the beginning. Very few of us still use an Osbome and those that do need no more training or support. Search as we might for the past year, we have found no reason to continue DOG except friendship.

And it is for the sake of that friendship that we must stop now. The possibility of bitterness and accusations over the last few dribbles of money haunt me. The decline of the club has already divided a few of us and that cannot be allowed to continue. I hope with all my heart that what will remain of DOG are the lifelong friendships started here. If some are already broken, let this action signal their renewal.

Let us dissolve while we are still able to refund what we owe people, at least financially. When people remember DOG, let them remember a group that put them first

I hope you understand. No one believes that we will survive for another twelve months. Is the value of those few remaining meetings and newsletters great enough to warrant spending that much money, personal effort, and mutual regard?

If we quit new we can refund dues, meet all of our obligations, and part friends. If we wait any longer we may lose what little remains to us and ngain nothing.

There is some good news made possible by our acting now. The libraries still exist. And the librarians have agreed to keep them as long as they can for your use. Keep their phone numbers. At their convenience you may copy to your hearts' desire anything you want for free. For this promise on their part the borad has entrusted the libraries to these people.

More good news is that we can still meet. We are publishing the phone numbers of every member in the next issue so that any effort to form a new organization or just get together informally can have a head start. In addition, DOG will pay for the hall one more time so that those interested can sit down together to arrange something new. Come that last night, July 2, 1987, and rearrange the chairs. Some may want to form more informal home gatherings for CP/M or portables or rock hounds. Now is your chance.

[I have omitted the details of the dissolution process as outlined in DOG Bytes. -- bhc]

[It can happen here. While CFOG is bigger than DOG, still over 200 members, and the election of new board members at the May 31 meeting seems to carry with it the possibility of a revival of sorts, only time will tell. Don't let it be your fault.-- bhc.]